STXNEWS LATAM-Brazil insurer SulAmérica profit almost triples as claims fall

Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:40pm EST

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SulAmérica SA, Brazil's third-largest listed insurer, saw profit almost tripling in the fourth quarter as a jump in financial income and declining retained claims offset a slight drop in revenue. Net income at the São Paulo-based insurer rose to 292.3 million reais ($124 million) in the last three months of 2013, compared with 118.9 million reais in the prior quarter, according to a securities filing on Wednesday.

Total revenue from insurance premiums fell 0.4 percent from the third quarter, totaling 3.188 billion reais. Retained claims and benefits expenses fell 6.1 percent to 2.169 billion reais in the quarter. Financial income, or net revenue from financial investments, climbed 13 percent in the quarter.

SulAmérica's combined ratio, a gauge that measures how much from earned premiums goes to cover expenses, fell to 93.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the second straight month of readings below 100 percent, the filing said.

($1 = 2.35 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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